Korea Emerges as Mecca of 3T Trends
A photo of the "House of Dior" store, the brand's largest flagship store in the world, which opened in June in Cheongdam-dong, Seoul.
Until now, global luxury fashion brands have focused on Japan and China for Asian fashion and beauty. However, they are recently beginning to acknowledge Korea as the trend maker, trend setter, and trend leader, as the country quickly accepts fashion trends and reproduces them after modification and reinterpretation.
According to industry sources on Sept. 8, this year has become the first year of the start of culture marketing, as more global leading luxury fashion brands such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Dior, are spending time in Korea. Flagship stores of luxury fashion brands are springing up in Cheongdam-dong fashion street for the first time in 10 years. Also, they are renovating their stores to the largest and the most luxurious in the world. This is because they can attract attention and make huge advertising effects in the global markets with the opening of their stores in Seoul, which has become the mecca of trends.
An unprecedented increasing number of masters in the fashion industry are visiting Korea. Karl Lagerfeld, the head designer and creative director of Chanel, visited Korea early this year and said, “Tradition and cutting-edge technology coexist in perfect harmony in Seoul and it is the dynamic and creative city.” Lagerfeld is nicknamed to be the Pope in the fashion industry. Also, Suzy Menkes, a fashion journalist who exerts powerful influence on the global fashion trend, visited Korea in July and said, “Now it is Seoul.” She also promised that she would visit Korea again next year.
Korean cosmetics firms are leading the trend in the global beauty market with AmorePacific, which has first created the “Cushion Foundation,” in the lead. Lancôme, the leading French luxury beauty brand, has replicated the product of AmorePacific and asked to build a strategic partnership, while other global leaders, such as L'Oréal and ELKA, are showing their eager attention in domestic cosmetic producers. In the rear, smaller beauty brands are creating the global facial mask market and forming the emerging K-beauty corps, and domestic cosmeceutical brands are tapping into the global niche market.
Since Korean consumers have more knowledge than workers in the beauty industry due to the effects of social network services making them trendy and smart consumers, Korea has changed from a test market in the past to a qualified market now. So the country is being paid attention to by global beauty brands as a bridge market, the center of the trends in Asia.